Epsilon Psi Chapter was founded at University of California, Santa Barbara in Goleta, California on October 14, 1978.
1,569 initiates (as of June 2018)
Epsilon Psi Installed at Santa Barbara By Marilyn Boggess Sullivan ΔH – Utah.
The University of California at Santa Barbara has acquired an invaluable addition to its fraternity system with the installation of Epsilon Psi—the 101st chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma. A three-day celebration took place in Santa Barbara on October 13-15, 1978. All events were perfectly planned by co-chairmen Mary Huff Penfield, BK – Idaho, and Jean McHenry Bailey, ΠΔ – California, and were full of memories for all those who participated—especially the 31 brand new initiates.
Weekend activities began Friday evening with a beautiful Fireside held at the home of Cynthia Parker Heyer, ΓZ-Arizona. Here, an inspirational mood was set which prepared for the events that were to follow.
Trinity Episcopal Church in downtown Santa Barbara was the perfect setting for the installation service on Saturday morning. The presence of ΓΞ – UCLA Kappas—big sisters to the UCSB colony Kappas—added special meaning to the service, which was led by installing officers Jean Hess Wells, Δγ. ΔY – Georgia, Fraternity president; Marian Klingbeil Williams, Θ – Missouri, director of membership; and Kay Smith Larson, BΠ – Washington, former director of chapters. Also assisting was Susan Duncan, Θ – Missouri, graduate counselor for Epsilon Psi.
A grand reception at the University Club began at 6:00 Saturday night. Those coming to celebrate included the parents and friends of the 31 charter members, new Kappa pledges, many of the UCLA big sisters and, of course, those supportive Kappa alums.
A banquet followed the reception, planned beautifully by Dorothy Freese Brandt, BPΔ – Cincinnati, with 150 people in attendance. Blue candles and yellow chrysanthemums highlighted each table and the dinner favors at each place were an exciting surprise—golden keys to be used as key chains (almost too beautiful for the intended purpose!). With Barbara Engel Anderson, ΓZ – as toastmistress, the dinner program ran in a delightful manner. Mary Huff Penfield, BK – Idaho, president of the Santa Barbara Alumnae Association, offered opening words of welcome to the group; in his welcome speech, Dr. Edward Birch, Vice Chancellor at UCSB, expressed his pleasure that Kappa has now come to the university. Adding to the excitement was the fact that the Santa Barbara alumnae were observing their 30th anniversary. In recognition of this, Marguerite Bone Wilcox, BΠ – Washington, presented a delightful story of the group's founding, and long attempts to have a Kappa chapter at UCSB. Barbara Deutsch, Panhellenic adviser, was also present.
It was a great honor for all to have Jean Wells present the banquet address, where she spoke to the audience about the founding of the Greek system and the high ideals of Kappa Kappa Gamma. The opening of gifts for the new chapter brought excitement to everyone in the room. The many lovely gifts reflected the kindnesses of friends, relatives and Kappa sisters.
Sunday afternoon, a campus reception was held in the courtyard of the Kappa house. Karen Heaton Jensen, ΔH-Utah, planned the beautifully catered affair, which attracted a multitude of visitors who passed through a receiving line that included Mary Penfield, Jean Wells, Marion Williams, Kay Larson and Susan Leeuwenburgh, colony president.
Consistently pledged 35-42 new members each year. Scholarship was main as priority and we improved our standing with Greeks from 8 to 2 out of 10 groups. Our philanthropies both with other Greeks and our won were successful and gave our money to the American Cancer Society. We also support a young boy from Africa. We received the Alphonsine Howard Award at the 1981 Kappa Province Meeting. We received the Outstanding Philanthropy 2 years in a row at the Campus Panhellenic Award Banquet. In 1987 we won the Most Outstanding Chapter at the Kappa Province Meeting. In 1988 we placed 1st among all Greeks in scholarship. Each year we joined other Greeks in Campus philanthropy activities and intramural activities.
In 1990 we were active on campus, winning 1st in KD’s soccer tournament. WE raised money for the Rape Crisis Center. WE focused on scholarship and the entire house had a GPA over 3.0. In 1991 our house was redecorated including new floors and new furniture. With other Greeks on campus we participated in Walk America and AIDS Walk and worked with Special Olympics. Our chapter President was given the Chapter President of the Year at the Greek Awards Banquet. At Kappa Province Meeting we won 1st in Scholarship, Gracious Living, Philanthropy and Public Relations. In 1995 all pledges in every house attended Greek Awareness Programs to inform them of t campus problems and also positive issues. As a philanthropy we participated in fixing up and painting houses for Habitat for Humanity. In 1997-1998 we had a successful philanthropy event to raise money for the salvation Army. We had a 20th chapter Reunion. We volunteered at the annual Goleta Lemon Festival. We earned the highest house GPA of 3.13.
Epsilon Psi received three UCSB Panhellenic awards for Best President, Best Philanthropy Program, and Campus Involvement. Kappas of Epsilon Psi shined on an individual basis as well. Epsilon Psi noteworthy women include: an intern of a group called HEAL (Healthy Eating and Living), an intern at the UCSB Office of Student Life, an intern for Congresswoman Lois Capps and California State Assembly member Pedro Nava, a writing tutor for Campus Learning Assistance Services, a tutor for the Autism Partnership, a teaching assistant for the Orfalea Family Children Center, a mentor for the UCSB Honors Program, an intern at couturecandy.com, volunteers at the Direct Relief Dental Clinic, an intern at KCET (PBS), a reporter and producer for "Inside Santa Barbara," a program that airs on City T.V., the Vice-Chair and Student Worker for the Community Affairs Board, a volunteer for Big Brothers Big Sisters, and the street team chairman for Relay for life. Two of our members are on the UCSB cheer squad, and many girls are active in intramural sports. There are also many Kappa women who are members of the UCSB honors program and other service and honors societies.
Epsilon Psi saw amazing return rates during fall Panhellenic recruitment. Our chapter not only welcomed 38 extraordinary women, but filled the Panhellenic Quota. Our chapter also got involved by participating in philanthropic events organized by every other sorority and fraternity on campus. One of the most memorable of these events was Alpha Tau Omega and All Sorority Volleyball Tournament where Kappa team made it to the playoffs. We also participated in Greek Week, which is a week of events designed to promote unity among all the Greek houses on campus.
Epsilon Psi upheld its phenomenal reputation through our contribution to the community and our commitment to philanthropy. Our annual philanthropic event, Kappa Dash, was held in late October and was very successful. Fellow UCSB students, members of the Greek community, Kappa parents, and community members participated in the 5k run, called "Key for the Cure" to raise money for the Susan G. Koman Breast Cancer Foundation, The Cancer Detection Program of Santa Barbara, an ovarian cancer education program, and the Ovarian Cancer Coalition. The event raised over $13,000 and provided us with various opportunities to strengthen our sisterhood. In February, our chapter made and sold Valentine grams on campus to raise money for Reading is Fundamental. We also played a prominent role in Relay for Life, a campus-wide event that raises money for the American Cancer Society. Kappa’s team raised $8,954, the most out of 57 teams!
Once again, we started the year with the hope of increasing academic excellence in our Chapter. This past year, study hours were attended by more members and more frequently than last year. Even girls who did not live in made the trek to Kappa Sunday and Monday nights to study together in the chapter room even when snacks were not provided. Our efforts proved worthy when Panhellenic determined that our house GPA rank had risen to third in the entire sorority system! Our chapter has also struggled with committee involvement in the past. However, we have stressed the importance of utilizing committee members throughout the year and have required committee heads to create an agenda for committee nights and submit it to the VPO prior to Monday night meetings when committees are scheduled to meet.
Epsilon Psi received two UCSB Panhellenic awards for Best Philanthropy and Outstanding Parent Relations Program. Kappas of Epsilon Psi shined on an individual basis as well. Epsilon Psi's noteworthy women include: an intern of a group called HEAL (Healthy Eating and Living), a writing tutor for Campus Learning Assistance Services, a street team chairman for Relay For Life, two interns at Santa Barbara Magazine, an intern at Epic Advertising Agency, several volunteer math tutors at Isla Vista Elementary, an intern for 20th Century Fox and another intern at Fox Sports, an intern for "Inside Santa Barbara," a program that airs on City T.V., two UCSB cheer squad members and one UCSB swim team member, several Meals on Wheels volunteers, an program director at the Muscular Dystrophy Association, an intern for NBC Universal's news program "Dateline NBC," a cheer coach at San Marcos High School in Santa Barbara, an intern at Santa Barbara Fitness Magazine, an intern at the Santa Barbara Film Festival, an intern Qualcomm, a volunteer at Direct Relief International, a labor and delivery intern at Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, an intern at PricewaterhouseCoopers, and an intern at Benchmark Metrics Incorporated.
Epsilon Psi saw amazing return rates during fall panhellenic recruitment this year. UCSB had a record number of 600+ girls go through recruitment this year and Epsilon Psi maintained really high return rates the whole week: 97% came back for house tours and 87% for Greek pillar day. We made quota with 41 Alpha Upsilons, including two legacies. Our chapter also got involved by participating in philanthropic events held by other sororities and fraternities on campus. Most notably, we got first place in the Pi Beta Phi bowling tournament and third place in Sigma Nu's week-long relay event. We also participated in Greek Week, which is a week of events designed to promote unity among all of the Greek houses on campus.
Epsilon Psi upheld its phenomenal reputation through our contribution to the community and our commitment to philanthropy. Our annual philanthropic event, Kappa Dash, was held in mid October and was very successful. Fellow UCSB students, many members of the greek community, Kappa parents and families, and community members participated in the 5k run, called "Key for the Cure" to raise money for the Susan G. Koman Breast Cancer Foundation, The Cancer Detection Program of Santa Barbara, an ovarian cancer education program, and the Ovarian Cancer Coalition. The event raised over $17,000 and provided us with various opportunities to strengthen our sisterhood. In February, our chapter made and sold Valentine's Day grams on campus to raise money for Reading is Fundamental. We also played a prominent role in Relay for Life, a campus-wide event that raises money for the American Cancer Society.
Our most re-occurring challenge that Epsilon Psi has faced over the past couple years is committee involvement. We have made great strides this year to promote delegation among chapter council officers so that everyone in the chapter feels included and accomplished. Also, the stressful week of pre-rush was alleviated with our chapter's newest addition of traditions, the Kappa retreat. We, as a chapter, spent one full day in the middle of pre-rush at the beach, relaxing and catching up on each other's summers and continued to spend an evening camping at a nearby campsite. It was a wonderful opportunity to boost morale during such a busy week while at the same time promoting sisterhood and unity.
Kappa Kappa Gamma at UCSB is always recognized for our great efforts in every aspect of the Greek system and on campus. A prime example of our amazing recognition was our great success at UCSB Greek Awards, which were held during Spring quarter of 2009 in downtown Santa Barbara. Not only did we win for "excellence in philanthropy" for our annual Kappa dash and "chapter advisor of the year" for our outstanding advisor Jeanne Dixon, but we also won the best award of the night, "chapter excellence!" This was so exciting for our chapter because we certainly do excel in various areas and this award was a verification that we are a dominating sorority on campus.
In addition to winning many awards, we also participated in many philanthropies, including our own and all of the other Greek houses. This year in Kappa Dash, despite the poor economy, we still raised around $17,000 for the Ovarian Cancer Coalition of great California foundation, supporting breast and ovarian cancer. This amount of money is by far the greatest funding that any sorority or fraternity raised for a charitable organization. In addition, we also sold Valentine's Day grams in mid-February, and we were able to donate a few hundred dollars to the national Kappa philanthropic group, Reading is Fundamental. Besides our own efforts, we also participated in numerous other philanthropies including SigEp football, Pi Phi capture the flag, Theta kickball, AdPi wiffleball, AePi soccer, and SAE pumpkin carving. We also placed 2nd in ATO's all sorority volleyball tournament and also placed 2nd in Lambda Chi's watermelon bust week!
Although our entire chapter is great as a whole, each individual member is extremely unique and lends great diversity to Kappa Kappa Gamma. Most of our member highly excel in academics, which allowed us to place 6th out of 20 houses in grades for Fall quarter of 2009. Also, a few of our officers attended province during Spring quarter, and another officer attended the Kappa leadership conference in Ohio during this past summer. They were all able to give us great ideas to strengthen our chapter upon their return. Besides our officers, every single member is amazing and their involvement in school and in the community is very impressive. Our chapter is lucky to have girls who are on the club volleyball team, UCSB lacrosse team, UCSB cheer team, and perform in various UCSB dance performances. We also have some young ladies who are members of the Associated Student Board and the Program Board, which sets up various events and concerts that are popular on campus. One of members attended the UN climate change conference overseas in Copenhagen, which was attended by President Obama, Governor Schwarzenegger, Al Gore, and more prominent public figures. Many of our members also hold prominent internships such as working for the Santa Barbara Film Festival, helping on the red carpet for E! network, and managing the UCSB branch of the website, Hercampus.com. These are just some of the accomplishments held by our incredible members.
In conclusion, the past year has been full of worthy recognition, numerous awards, and most importantly has been a fun year to remember!
Although there are only 10 sororities on campus and only about 11% of total Greek involvement, the Greek system seems like it is huge because there is so much pride in each and every house. Kappa always continues to stand out on campus as classy role models who are involved in a multitude of groups. At UCSB, we are very lucky to have a campus that is stationed right on the beach, and very frequently, you can spot a Kappa on campus studying on the sunny lawn or beach, tabling in the arbor to promote a Kappa event, or even contributing to a beach clean up for community service.
Our chapter is definitely one of the most united and spirited houses on campus. All of our members are extremely eager and talk all about Kappa wherever they go. Any day on campus or in town you will spot a few girls wearing Kappa clothes, and definitely their Kappa book bag. Every single girl, no matter what age or year, is friendly with one another, which definitely differentiates us from other houses. We have very good relations with the other sororities and fraternities and hold the reputation of being kind, intelligent, classy, fun, and well-rounded.
Our chapter had financial issues meaning that many girls could not afford to pay dues. We overcame this by putting some girls on payment plans, and we also had a fundraiser hosted by Twisted Jewelry company, which was just for Kappas in our own house. We were able to raise enough money and buy cute jewelry, which resulted in being able to have our winter date party, Sapphire Ball, even despite our financial issues. We also had some problems filling the house, which are still present, but we were able to better the situation by having new and eager members move into the house.
2012 brought much excitement and success to the women of Epsilon Psi at University of California, Santa Barbara. We held our annual philanthropy, Kappa Dash, a 5K walk/run around both the campus and Isla Vista, the surrounding college town. We rose around $8,500 to benefit breast and ovarian cancer research- specifically, all proceeds went to the following charities: Susan G. Komen Foundation, the Strong as Steele Foundation, and the Ovarian Cancer Circle (in memory of Robin Babbini, a beloved member of Epsilon Psi who passed away due to ovarian canter in 2006).
With around 250 participants, our chapter is proud of how large our philanthropy has grown and how much money we were able to raise for charity. In addition, in February we did our annual Valentine Grams sale to benefit Reading is Fundamental, our national philanthropy. An individual can send a flower, note, and chocolate to his or her valentine for only $3 dollars, and our philanthropy committee will hand deliver them anywhere on the campus or around Isla Vista.
Aside from our philanthropic involvement, members of our chapter uphold high standards of academic achievement- we ended the 2011-2012 school year with the 3rd highest GPA of all Panhellenic sororities on our campus.
One of the highlights of 2012 for our chapter was being asked to help colonize the newest chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma- Eta Rho at the California Polytechnic Institute. All of our members were so excited and honored to be given such an opportunity because we realize that it is something that not many Kappa chapters can say that they have done!
While it is unfortunate that our chapter went on a focus letter this year, it has made our chapter much more aware of the way that we function as a house by bringing to attention all the areas we could improve on. All of our members, chapter leaders in particular, are striving to make the changes necessary and make us a better, more successful chapter in general! It is our goal, as a chapter, is to fix the issues detailed in the letter in order to be the best that we can be, and we hope to get off of the letter as soon as possible!
One of the most important changes at our campus is the shift to becoming more environmentally friendly ("green"). In the year 2012, "TGIF," the University's green initiative fund, sponsored several projects to help make UCSB a green school; for example, they funded the installation of several "hydration stations" around campus so that students could fill up their reusable water bottles with filtered water for free! Our chapter has moved in the same direction as the campus at large- we have been working to make our house more environmentally friendly by reducing paper cup waste and speaking during meeting about the importance of using the glass and plastic cups rather than paper.
Another huge change in our chapter has been the introduction of our newest house mom, Barbara. House moms have a huge influence on the chapter, and we are proud to have such a positive figure in our house. She is very involved in the house, always suprising us with things such as treats during our stressful finals week and elaborate decorations for Christmas and Chanukah!
During the year of 2013 the Epsilon Psi Chapter achieved much academically and philanthropically. It was an exciting year! Some highlights are:
Kappa Dash: Our yearly philanthropy. During Kappa Dash Epsilon Psi managed to raise $8,500, and approximately 250 people took part. A lot of friends and family came to show their support.
Valentine’s Grams: Every year we get together to sell grams for Valentine’s Day. The girls who participate always have lots of fun sending out the grams, and all the money gained goes to the charity Reading is Fundamental. We sold about 65 grams, bringing in approximately $195.
Academic Standing: Our chapter is constantly ranked in the top 4 among sororities at UCSB, and for the end of the academic year we managed to rank at number 3! This ranking is calculated from each sororities’ average GPA.
Colonization: During 2012, a few of Epsilon Psi chapter members went down to Cal Poly San Louis Obispo to colonize a new chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma. In 2013, we initiated the girls of Cal Poly. The girls involved said it felt amazing to be spreading the Kappa love to another campus, and the girls at Cal Poly could not have been more thrilled to be initiated by our members. We could not be more honored to have been a part of such a monumental experience. Congratulations to Eta Rho chapter!
As always, one of our goals was to maintain Kappa’s image on campus. We achieved this by having sisterhoods with other sororities, by promoting a positive image through social media, and by (of course) staying Kappa classy.
UCSB is making a constant effort to become greener and greener, and this was emphasized during the 2013 academic year. For instance, there is an environmental floor in one of the freshman dorms that doesn’t supply paper towels in the bathroom; instead, each resident is supplied a hand-towel to use for the year. If you look around our campus you see recycling bins everywhere, including each in room on campus. Kappa tries to be a part of this by volunteering to help pick up trash on the streets of Isla Vista – there is a program that runs every Thursday, and each week girls go out to try and make a difference. We also cut down the amount of paper used in the house by limiting the printer paper supplies.
Epsilon Psi always makes an effort to be as green as the campus we belong to. We strive to give back to the community, volunteering countless hours at a multitude of place. The girls of Kappa are kind and loyal and always there for each other.
Kappa Dash: Epsilon Psi’s philanthropy we do every fall quarter. We raised over $5,800 and had an outstanding presence of fellow UCSB students who attended with their family and friends.
Academic Standing: At the end of the academic year in Spring 2014, our chapter ranked number 2 out of all UCSB’s sororities! We have increased our study hours each week and our members are always ready to help each other when it comes to school.
Beach Cleanups: Our chapter participated in a number of beach cleanups throughout the year. In the spring, we had a joint beach cleanup with another sorority at UCSB. Then in the fall, our chapter brought together over 30 girls for a beach cleanup in Isla Vista.
Valentines Day Grams: Our chapter’s annual philanthropy that raises money for the charity Reading is Fundamental. A large number of students purchased our grams and our girls had a great time delivering and selling them!
Throughout the 2014 year, our chapter was very involved in campus philanthropies such as Relay for Life and Dance Marathon. We are very actively involved in other philanthropies put on by Greek life at UCSB. We had many great sisterhoods with other sororities as well!
Unfortunately, UCSB experienced a tragedy in May of 2014 where we lost six of our students. Our chapter really came together and supported each other through a time of grief. We attended memorials as well as hosted a dinner at our chapter house. We also received numerous packages and cards from other Kappa Kappa Gamma chapters and alumni, letting us know that they were all thinking of us.
On a lighter note, our chapter is opening more opportunities for its members to become more involved. We promote and encourage members not in leadership positions to help out and be aware of the upcoming changes that are going to be made in our chapter.
We hold chapters meetings in the living room at our chapter house. Our members have the opportunity to live together in our chapter house, which holds 41 girls and is filled every year. The house is rented. Our chapter has occupied the same house it’s entire time at UCSB.
Kappa Dash: Our annual philanthropy. We invite all UCSB Greek life as well as families and other students to participate in a 5k color run around Isla Vista. We raised over $5,500 to donate to the Ovarian Cancer Circle and Susan G. Komen Foundation.
Academic Standing: Two of our members received Inter-Greek Council academic excellence awards this year and our overall GPA has also improved since we reported last year!
Kappachino: Every quarter during the week before finals, our chapter provides free coffee and refreshments to students at UCSB. We each spend a few hours a day giving our fellow students a little “pick-me-up” cup of coffee to help them get through finals.
Valentines Day Grams: Our chapter’s annual philanthropy in which we raised over $850 for the charity Reading is Fundamental this year. A large number of students purchased our grams and our girls had a great time delivering and selling them!
Volunteer Reading: In addition to donating money to RIF from our Valentine’s Day Grams, our members also go to the local elementary school to read books to the kids. We donate books as well as volunteer in the classroom frequently each year.
Campus Involvement: Kappas at UCSB are very involved in many of the other organizations our school has to offer. One of our members holds an off campus senator position and a lot of our girls serve as UCSB tour guides. The women of Epsilon Psi show well-rounded involvement in Greek life and school organizations.
Campus Changes and Chapter Nature:
UC Santa Barbara will be opening a brand new library in January 2016 and our members are extremely excited to get to use it! Our house also was just renovated to include a new study room that has become a great place for our members to study any time of the day. Our chapter is focusing on creating more opportunities for our members to hold leadership positions and to get more involved. Epsilon Psi is a great group of genuine, ambitious, and classy women who are contributing to our community in amazing ways every day.
One of our members, Robin Babbini, lost her battle to ovarian cancer in 2006. Her mother, Paulinda Babbini started the Ovarian Cancer Circle to educate women about the disease. Our chapter donates to this cause in honor of Robin, and we are very passionate about educating women about this disease to prevent its devastating effects.